Justice, My Foot! (1992)
Very soon The Metrograph in NYC will host the new release of The Mermaid, directed by Stephen Chow. To commemorate this release, they are showing a few of the older movies directed or starring Stephen Chow. So far I have seen Shaolin Soccer and King Of Comedy, both of which he directed and starred in. This was an earlier role for him, where he only acted, with Johnnie To as the director.
In this charming comedy/drama period piece Chow stars as a shyster lawyer whose wife wants him to give up his job as she feels that his cursing their family and causing their children to die. So far they have buried 12 children, only have one left and she wants to have at least one live. He takes on one more case, and lo and behold, his son dies.
Soon he does retire and opens a business and tries to live the straight and narrow life. But his wife meets someone who is being framed and she tries to help the woman. When that doesn't work out, she asks her husband to help her. He breaks his oath to retire and goes back to the courts.
The movie runs the gamut, as all Hong Kong films seem to, from comedy to drama to martial arts and back again. There are some fun martial arts fights and stunts, as his wife is the martial artist in the family. Watching her beat up guys while 9 months pregnant is pretty amusing.
Although the 35mm print we saw was a bit on the rough side, it looked better than some films I have seen! It was acted well, the sets were fine, and all in all it was a standard Hong Kong film in many ways. There are some slightly off color jokes in it that are pretty amusing as well.
Unfortunately I had to skip both Kung Fu Hustle and The God Of Cookery, which also played this week, but maybe one day they will play again. For now I will wait until The Mermaid opens here in NYC and see that soon!
7 out of 10 stars.